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Ofer Raban

Professor, Elmer Sahlstrom Senior Faculty Fellow
Law, Law-JD
Phone: 541-346-1578
Office: 409E Knight Law Center


Professor Ofer Raban teaches Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence, Criminal Investigation, Criminal Law, and an LLM seminar. He received his B.A. from the City College of New York, his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and his doctorate in legal philosophy from Oxford University (where he was the recipient of the Oxford University Law Faculty Award). Professor Raban worked as a prosecutor in New York before joining academia. He taught law, inter alia, at the University of Oxford and the University of Utah before joining the University of Oregon. His principal research interests concern the relationship between constitutional doctrine and judicial philosophy. He is the author of two books on legal philosophy, and of numerous law review articles dealing with constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, and legal theory. He also writes regularly for the popular press, including for The Oregonian and The Conversation. Professor Raban lectures extensively both locally and internationally. Last year he gave a series of lectures in China and Israel. His work has been translated into Chinese, Polish, Korean, Turkish, and Hebrew.


Selection Publications


2020 It’s still a conservative Supreme Court, even after recent liberal decisions – here’s why (The Conversation, September 20).

2020 The ethical case for allowing medical trials that deliberately infect humans with COVID-19 (with Professor Yuval Dor) (The Conversation, August 17).

2020 Human Challenge Trials for COVID-19 (with Professor Yuval Dor) (op-ed, Haaretz, August 4; TheMarker, August 8; Maariv August 1).

2020 A fraying of humanity amid the coronavirus pandemic (op-ed, The Oregonian, March 4).

2020    Against Interpretation as an Alternative to Invalidation: A Response (Federal Law Review, Australia) (peer-reviewed) (solicited).

2019    Assange’s new indictment: Espionage and the First Amendment (The Conversation, May 25).

2019    Is the Assange indictment a threat to the First Amendment? (The Conversation/, May 1).

2019 — The Wider Scandal Suggested by the Trump Investigations (The Conversation/Salon. com, January 24).  

2018 — Kavanaugh’s impact on the Supreme Court and the country may not be as profound as predicted (The Conversation/, November 20).

2018 — Some Observations on the First Amendment and the War on Terror (53 Tulsa Law Review 141).

2017 — Constitutional but Legally Invalid (The Theory and Practice of Legislation Vol. 5, Iss. 2) (peer-reviewed) (solicited).

2017 — The Slants and the meaning of liberty (The Oregonian, July 7).

2017 — For constitutional decisions, does it matter who is president? (op-ed, The Oregonian, March 4).

2016 — Is Textualism Required by Constitutional Separation of Powers?, 49 Loyola L.A. Law Review 421.

2016 — Supreme Court Progress Report: More Harm than Good?, 7.2 Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Review 219.

2016 — A setback for free speech at University of Oregon (op-ed, The Oregonian, December 31)

2016 — A teachable moment on practicing what we preach (op-ed, The Oregonian, November 14).

2016 — The Supreme Court and Official Corruption (op-ed, The Oregonian, July 6).

2015 — The Rationalization of Policy: On the Relation Between Democracy and the Rule of Law, 18 N.YU. Journal of Legislation & Public Policy 45.

Translated into Polish and reprinted in the Ruch Prawniczy, Ekonomiczny i Socjologiczny (Journal of Law, Economics and Sociology) (peer-reviewed), Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan and Poznan University of Economics (2015).

2015 — Supreme Court Gets It Right on Judicial Elections (op-ed, The Oregonian, May 9).

2014 — Between Formalism and Conservatism: On the Resurgent Legal Formalism of the Roberts Court, 8 N.Y.U. Journal of Law & Liberty 342.

2014 — The Supreme Court’s Endorsement of a Politicized Judiciary: A Philosophical Critique, (Translated into Korean and Reprinted) Soongsil Law Review, Vol. 31 (2014).

2014 — A frivolous challenge to the Affordable Care Act (op-ed, The Oregonian, December 20).

2014 — Supreme Court can’t control the consequences of its decisions (op-ed, The Oregonian,July 4).

2014 — Another Blow to Democracy (op-ed, The Oregonian, April 13).

2013 — Judicial Fundamentalism, the Fourth Amendment, and Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 1 Virginia. Journal of Criminal Law 446.

2013 — The Fallacy of Legal Certainty: Why Vague Legal Standards May Be Better for Capitalism and Liberalism (Translated into Polish and reprinted) Journal of Public Philosophy & Democratic Education (peer-reviewed) (Institute of Philosophy at AMU).

2013 — Unpacking the court’s decision on NSA surveillance (op-ed, The Oregonian, Dec. 21).

2013 — The dignity of the states v. the dignity of the people (op-ed, The Oregonian, June 30).

2013 — Let’s not rush to judgment on surveillance leaker (op-ed, The Register Guard, June 17).

2013 — Judicial oversight of targeted assassinations (op-ed, The Oregonian, Feb 12).

2012 — Capitalism, Liberalism, and the Right to Privacy, 86 Tulane Law Review 1243.

2012 — Conflicts of Rights: When the Federal Constitution Restricts Civil Liberties, 64 Rutgers Law Review 381.

2011 — Constitutionalizing Corruption: Citizens United, Its Conceptions of Political Corruption, and the Implications for Judicial Elections Campaigns, 46 University of San Francisco Law Review 359 (solicited).

2011 — The Benefits and Dangers of Dual Constitutional Systems of Civil Rights Protections, in Rethinking the Philosophy of Law (Maltepe University Press) (solicited).

2011 — The Fallacy of Legal Certainty: Why Vague Legal Standards May Be Better for Capitalism and Liberalism (Translated into Chinese and reprinted), Archives for Legal Philosophy and Sociology of Law (Peking University Press) (2011).

2011 — The Supreme Court Continues to dismantle campaign finance reform (op-ed, The Oregonian, July 8).

2011 — Supreme Court’s ruling in religion case makes little sense (op-ed, The Register Guard,April 12).

2011 — A modest decision about child pornography (op-ed, The Oregonian, January 14).

2010 — The Fallacy of Legal Certainty: Why Vague Legal Standards May Be Better for Capitalism and Liberalism, 19 Boston University Public Interest Law Journal 175.

2010 — On Necessary and Suggestive Identification Procedures, 37 American Journal of Criminal Law 53.

2010 — Cloak of national security obscures logic of ruling (op-ed, The Oregonian, September 12).

2010 — High court’s support of ‘free speech’ comes at a steep price (op-ed, Register Guard, May 3).

2010 — State’s high court uses hazy reasoning in medical pot ruling (op-ed, Register Guard, April 25).

2009 — A Ratchet That Can Get Stuck: On the Relationship Between the Federal and States’ Constitutions, in BETWEEN COMPLEXITY OF LAW AND LACK OF ORDER: PHILOSOPHY OF LAW IN ERA OF GLOBALIZATION (eds. M. Zirk-Sadowski, B. Wojciechowski, M. Golecki) (2009) (solicited book chapter).

2009 — The Relationship Between the Federal and States’ Constitutions, 3 Journal of Jurisprudence 177.

2009 — Court within its rights in ruling on mandatory sentencing (op-ed, Register Guard, Oct. 5).

2009 — Actual innocence’ as a constitutional right (op-ed, The Oregonian, August 28).

2009 — Dissecting the torture memos (op-ed, The Oregonian, April 28) (extended versionpublished on SSRN).

2009 — Nude dancers’ expression should be protected by state constitution (op-ed, RegisterGuard, March 30).

2009 — Weighing the rule of law (op-ed, The Oregonian, March 12).

2008 — Real and Imagined Threats to the Rule of Law, 15 Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law 478.

2008 — Law and the Common Good, 4 Socio-Legal Review 9 (solicited).

2008 — Gerrymandering, in ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE SUPREME COURT (Macmillan Reference, USA) (solicited encyclopedia entry).

2008 — Free-speech ruling may add to friction (op-ed, The Oregonian, August 22).

2008 — Bring constitution into the 21st Century (op-ed, Register Guard, June 26).

2008 — Law and moral reasons (proceedings of The International Congress on the Philosophy of Law, Bar Association of Ankara and the Philosophical Society of Turkey).

2007 — Be They Fish Or Not Fish: The Fishy Registration of Nonsexual Offenders, 16 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 497.

2007 — The Supreme Court’s Endorsement of a Politicized Judiciary: A Philosophical Critique, 8 Journal of Law in Society 114.

2007 — An improper claim of executive privilege (Detroit Legal News, March).

2006 — The Embarrassing Saga of New York’s Derivative Right to Counsel, 80 St. John's Law Review 389.

2006 — Legislation, Adjudication, and Public Justification, Schriften zur Rechtstheorie, Volume 215/II (2006).

2005 — Why Harriet Miers should not be confirmed (Detroit Legal News, October).

2004 — Judicial Impartiality and the Regulation of Judicial Election Campaigns, 15 University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy 205.

2003 — MODERN LEGAL THEORY AND JUDICIAL IMPARTIALITY (Routledge-Cavendish, London) (book).

2003 — Dworkin’s ‘Best Light’ Requirement and the Proper Methodology of Legal Theory, 23 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 243.

2000 — Content-Based, Secondary Effects, and Expressive Conduct: What in the World Do They Mean (and What Do They Mean to the U.S. Supreme Court)?, 30 Seton Hall Law Review 551.